Artists Picking Artists: Salti Ray

  • By cvbizz
  • July 8, 2020
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Brett Barest

In last week’s edition of this column I mentioned that Kelly Jo and/or Phat Lip were frequently finding a place on artists’ list, which is part of what prompted me to reach out to her. That sentiment continues this week as Salti Ray the band, and Salti Ray’s Mary Norris specifically, seem to be making an appearance on people’s list with as much regularity as anyone in the Upstate. As such, I reached out to Norris to see what she was listening to these days. Beyond immediately offering a list of her own, she told me she would send it after the band got together that evening, making this the most band-collaborative “Artists Picking Artists” to date, if I am not mistaken.

Before getting to the list, I have to admit that I continue to be surprised by artists’ submissions every single week. Since this became a regular piece, I totally expected to see some familiar names appearing frequently throughout this process. What I did not expect, however, is that every single list has thrown me a name or two that I had never even heard of, and that continues to be the case after more than three months of asking people for their personal lists. That speaks to the depth of talent on the local scene and the diversity of what folks are listening to in more ways than I ever could have predicted. It has been a fine educational experience and I am humbled to be a part of it.

Without further ado, here is who the fine folks of Salti Ray are listening to through quarantined speakers and headphones…

Rush Morgan

Salti Ray says: “We’ve known Rush for a while, and he is not only adaptable in live performances, but he just keeps getting better and better the more he writes. His singing style and involved guitar playing sets him apart from other singer-songwriters in the upstate.”

Phat Lip

Salti Ray says: “The first song we heard by Phat Lip was “Coyote,” and man, that song just bops. Nobody else in the upstate sounds like her, and we feel honored to have such an awesome performer and songwriter in our midst.”

The Old Earthquake

Salti Ray says: “Overall, just a really talented duo. Whether it’s writing, performing, production – they can do it all. They Knew, But Didn’t Tell Us and Sold Stock is one of the best projects to come out of the upstate this year.”

Remedy 58

Salti Ray says: “They definitely know how to lay a groove down. Great vocals, great guitar work. Easy peasy. Done.”

Drew Spencer

Salti Ray says: “I feel like nobody knows this cat, but he’s one of the best guitar players in South Carolina. If you like gritty southern rock and good Americana, Drew Spencer’s the man.”

Ary Fleming

Salti Ray says: “Ary’s songs are so poetic, and they just make you feel something. Her lyrics and music bring you the honest kind of pain you want.”

Shyland Flowers

Salti Ray says: “He released an EP on Juneteenth called Heel Turn that’s definitely worth listening to. If you like Biggie, you’ll like Shyland.”

As far as Salti Ray goes, I have to admit that I was only vaguely familiar with them until earlier this year when I saw them at the Upstate Music Awards. I knew of them in the most casual sense but, admittedly, I had not yet done my homework. Then they took the stage to close out the night…

I cannot remember exactly who I was speaking to when they came on but I do know that I stopped the conversation right then and there because Salti Ray had every bit of my attention. From musical talent, to stage presence, to the energy that took over the room, I have wanted to see Salti Ray on stage ever since. The band that bills itself as “Not-Your-Father’s Indie Rock Band” has only been a full four piece unit since just this year but, if the little bit I have heard from them so far is any indication, we can expect big things from Salti Ray in the months and years to come.

Thanks to Salti Ray for a fine list of artists that continues to introduce me to new music nearly every single week. I’ll see you back here next week.

More in the Artists Picking Artist Series

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